Patrice Motsepe, the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Yasser Al Misehal, boss of the Saudi Football Federation (SAFF), will work together.
The two bodies have just announced on Saturday the signing of a cooperation and development agreement. This five-year partnership will, according to its signatories, open up new growth prospects for African and Saudi football. Patrice Motsepe rejoiced:CAF is happy to work with the Saudi Football Federation to develop and grow football in Africa and around the world. There are also specific areas for mutually beneficial partnerships that we are discussing and announcements will be made in due course.”.
In a press release published on its official website, CAF said a little more about the content of this agreement. “The signed MoU will focus on technical and football development initiatives at club and national team level. It will also cover grassroots football, women’s football, talent scouting, competitions, friendlies and business opportunities.“, specified the instance.
The President of CAF and the President of the Saudi Football Federation sign a historic five-year Memorandum of Understanding to foster close ties and develop football.
— CAF Media (@CAF_Media) May 13, 2023
A promising collaboration…
A desire to work hand in hand which could prove fruitful. Both for Saudi football, already under the spotlight since the victory against Argentina at the World Cup and then with the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo in Al-Nassr (and the potential one of Lionel Messi), but also for the CAF and the African federations, which could get big income by going for example to play several posters in the Gulf. The continent could also benefit the expertise and experience of the Saudi Federation to further strengthen the competitiveness and influence of African football on the international scene.
Why? Who really gains from this arrangement? What is in it for #Africa? I hope CAF President…
— Osasu Obayiuwana (@osasuo) May 13, 2023
But this agreement is, as one might suspect, not to everyone’s taste… Osasu Obayiuwanajournalist for the BBCquickly reacted on his Twitter account: “I wonder how CAF can sign a 5-year cooperation agreement with the Federation of Saudi Arabia, knowing full well that the Saudis will be in competition with the Morocco – a CAF member nation – to postpone the right to host the 2023 World Cup. How can that mean anything?“A virulent reaction which should call others.